The creation scientists at at Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis (AIG) — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page — have posted an article of great scientific importance. It deals with a question that has troubled all of us: Did It Rain Before the Flood?
Admit it, dear reader — many are the nights you’ve lain awake, unable to sleep, wondering that very thing. Now, at last, some serious attention is being paid to this — the most important question of our time. AIG’s article is by Larry Vardiman, a “retired professor of atmospheric science and chair of the department of astro-geophysics for the Institute for Creation Research.” So you know this is high-grade material. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us and scripture references omitted:
Scripture says tantalizingly little about climate conditions before the Flood. Based on a few indirect verses, early creationists speculated that a vapor canopy covered the earth until the first rain fell during the Flood.
That’s how it always seemed to us. But AIG probes the matter deeply:
The first step is always to examine Scripture carefully to differentiate the actual words from interpretations. After God finished making all the plants and animals during Creation Week, the Bible says, “The Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground [scripture reference].
Verily, that’s what it says! Let’s read on:
Later, God told Noah during the 600th year of his life that He would “cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights” [scripture reference] and would bring “floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life” [scripture reference]. Noah may have faced new weather conditions during and following the Flood that he had never experienced before, but just what was the nature of these changes?
What’s the answer? We continue:
It seems clear that he saw a rainbow for the first time. And he was assaulted by severe weather of a magnitude never seen on earth before or since.
Right! There can be no doubt. Here’s more:
However, the conclusion that there was no rain before the Flood over the entire earth is based on two primary assumptions that are not necessarily true: (1) the mist that “watered the whole face of the ground” occurred over the entire globe and (2) since Scripture makes no mention of rain in its description of events between Creation and the Flood, then rain must not have fallen during that period.
Here’s where we start to have problems. For one thing, the bible is very clear that the Earth wasn’t a “globe” in those days (see The Earth Is Flat). For another thing, the bible makes no mention of rain until the Flood. Moving along:
The context of the “mist” means it may have occurred near the Garden of Eden where God was about to create Adam, and it may be stretching the verse to say the mist extended over the whole earth. And to say that there was no rain before the Flood is an argument from silence, which is always a weak argument.
A weak argument? We think not. After all, the bible doesn’t mention evolution, so it obviously didn’t happen. Another excerpt:
If the “mist” condition of [scripture reference] covered the entire earth from Creation to the Flood — and that is a big “if” — then the earth’s climate and weather would have been considerably different from today. Noah would not have known about rain, thunderstorms, lightning, hail, or strong winds. In fact, under rain-free conditions before the Flood, the atmosphere would have been very stable, winds would have been light, and global temperatures would likely have been more uniform. And with no rain to refract sunlight, rainbows would not have formed.
That’s exactly the way it was! On with the article:
A watery canopy surrounding the earth would support these conditions by providing a more massive atmosphere and higher surface pressure. In addition, creationists have noted that these special conditions may help explain such biblical mysteries as the longevity of pre-Flood people (up to 969 years) and Noah’s susceptibility to drunkenness after the Flood, although many other biological factors were likely in play.
See there? Creation science explains everything! But there’s more:
Several canopy models of pre-Flood atmospheric conditions have been constructed, such as ones by Dillow, Morris, Vail, and myself. … If such a canopy existed prior to the Flood, it certainly doesn’t exist today.
Right again! There’s no canopy today. The article continues:
However, major computational problems continue to plague the canopy models. No known physical force has been shown to be capable of suspending such large amounts of water vapor in the atmosphere without major complications, such as a massive greenhouse effect.
Greenhouse effect? Humbug! Scripture doesn’t mention it, so it didn’t happen. And now we come to the end:
Was there rain before the Genesis Flood? I don’t believe there was, at least near the Garden of Eden. But only time will tell if modeling efforts are successful in supporting a canopy prior to the Flood. If the modeling is not successful, then rain probably fell before the Flood, at least far from the Garden of Eden. Whatever explanation is true, the Bible’s accuracy is not in question.
He’s a fool to worry about models. If we stick with scripture, then we know all there is to know. Isn’t creation science grand?
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